Friday, October 20, 2017

New Titans #99

I was so disappointed when I realized Speedy just changed his name.

Monsieur Mallah and the Brain haven't fucked once yet since they appeared in this comic book which should have been a clue that they weren't who they seemed. Since we last saw them in Doom Patrol, they declared their love for each other and then blew up. You would think if they survived the explosion, they wouldn't be taking life for granted. They'd be holed up in some little bed and breakfast in Maine living on room service and gorilla semen. It turns out Rita Farr isn't who she seems either! Surprise!

The bigger surprise is that the readers don't immediately find out who they actually are. Is that a surprise? That's actually more like par for the comic book.

Some other stuff happens and then Dick asks Kory to marry him. She's all, "Well, now that you've asked that question, I'll instantly stop being angry that Mirage raped you. I won't ever mention it again, you know, how I was hurt that you were raped. So when's the big day? In like six, seven months? Or, you know, what about next issue?"

New Titans #99 Rating: People have asked me how I could hate Nightwing because they only know him from the last decade or so and from DC's cartoons. But this issue is a good example of what an asshole he is. He threatens to beat up just about everybody he talks and his hair is terrible. In fact, each one of these ninety-nine issues is testimonial on how terrible a character Dick Grayson was in the eighties and most of the nineties. I guess it wasn't until somebody pried the character out of Marv Wolfman's cold, dead hands that he became interesting. To clarify, Marv Wolfman didn't die before somebody else wrote Dick Grayson. It's just that Marv Wolfman has the hands of corpse.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Batman #33

This issue of Batman was perfect.

Thank you, Tom King. Thank you, Joëlle Jones. Thank you, Jordie Bellaire.

Every comic book should be this comic book. But, you know, different. Like if it's Superman, it should star Superman and not Batman. But it should be the same in all the other ways!

Batman #33 Rating: My favorite issue of a comic book in quite some time. So much time! The amount of time is inconceivable! At least by cat standards. Those things don't know shit about time.

Dark Nights: Batman the Drowned #1

I can't wait to find out how Bruce Wayne got such a fantastic pair of tits.

I'm super excited to read yet another story about how Batman once had a dark thought that turned into a depressing world for a few minutes. I bet this time Batman's thought was "Why is this orange fucker on the team again?! If I had tits, they'd be more useful than this guy!" Then BAM! Earth-Negative-Guys-With-Awesome-Tits comes into existence! Why does that have to be a Dark Multiverse world? Why wasn't that one of Grant Morrison's 52 worlds? DC missed out on making a lot of money with that mistake.

You know what pisses me off? No, not 85% of DC's comics. The fact that Millennials think they invented eating ass! Eating ass as a Millennial is like dropping Cable TV when you have dozens of streaming options. It's not like you're sacrificing anything by giving up Comcast now! Also try eating ass in the 70s! That's real ass eating! Eating ass on a hairless person with impeccable grooming skills isn't a challenge! That's just doing something hot and sexy. If you were eating ass in the 60s and 70s, you were an adventuring spirit! A pioneer! You were the Columbus of your neighborhood! For the most part, it was okay to use Columbus as an example of an explorer in the 60s and 70s. I mean, it should be okay now too because explorers were mostly assholes. It's good to know what you're getting into by reminding everybody that Columbus wasn't the exception when it came to explorers. You can't really say "Stop glorifying Columbus! You should be glorifying decent explorers!" because the only decent explorers were the ones who got themselves killed before they could rape the native cultures with their dicks and guns and crosses.

Now I can't remember why I started talking about Columbus and his penchant for eating ass? Maybe I should just read the comic book!

Aquabat has come to Earth-Main-Earth to destroy it because it exists "at the expense" of the Dark Multiverse. That's illogical, Aquabat. You've been listening to Batjoker propaganda again, haven't you? Your world wasn't some kind of fuel for the regular DC Universe. Your world only exists because of the existence of the regular DC Universe. You should be thankful that you were given life by the regular DC Universe! Not that I'm thankful for the life my parents gave me. I seek to destroy them every day of my life. That's the logic you should be using! Hatred for having been brought non-consensually into this miserable existence! How dare they create this much angst and despair for one night of drinking wine and fucking after stuffing my sister's socking on Christmas Eve?! One night of pleasure they probably don't even remember resulted in forty-five years of a tortured existence that I'm frittering away on constant thoughts of not existing! That's why you should hate Earth-Main-Earth! Don't hate it because it lives and your world dies. Hate it because even though it knows the pain of living, it still creates other lives! I despise the arrogance of parents to think that the child wants to exist! I despise the neediness of parents who need to create a being to fill the hole left from the lack of love their parents bestowed on them daily! Why must I pay the price for my parents' careless night of fucking?!

Man, I hate when I'm reading comic books to distract from the eternal darkness of the looming grave when the comic book itself reminds me that death is still stalking me! Stupid comic book!

At least Aquabat has a great looking set of tits to look at as I read.

"This is my wish! And I'm taking it back. I'm taking them all back!"

The explanation for Bruce Wayne having magnificent tits occurs in a brief Narration Box where Aquabat thinks, "The gender roles are reversed here." I used the word "explanation" incorrectly in the last sentence. By saying the gender roles are reversed, does he mean the people who are women on Earth-Negative-Guys-With-Awesome-Tits are men on Earth-Main-Earth? Does that explain why he's a woman named Bruce? Or is he a man but men on Earth-Negative-Guys-With-Awesome-Tits would be considered women on Earth-Main-Earth? Am I using the correct pronoun for Aquabat? I can't tell because is being a woman actually considered being a man from his Dark Earth? Is that what he means by the gender roles being reversed"? My boner is super confused right now!

Oh! Everything becomes clear when the flashback happens and this is taking place on Earth-Negative-Eleven and also when I check back to the panel I scanned to see that Bruce Wayne is actually called Bryce Wayne. Is Bryce a non-gender specific name? Is any name, in this day and age, non-gender specific?! Down with parental labels that force a person (and others!) into seeing them as a specific gender! That's the fight we should be fighting! Also maybe the fight against circumcision. Can that be a major fight too? Hello? Anybody? Babies being mutilated here!

Anyway, now I have a question. If the Batman on Earth-Main-Earth is the Batman that Barbatos is obsessed with, why are all these Dark Earths, created by Earth-Main-Earth Batman's dark thoughts, not versions of Earth-Main-Earth? Oh wait! I have an answer to my question! Because Batjoker is actually the Dark Version of Earth-Main-Earth Batman. He just happened to recruit other versions of Dark Multiverse Batman before coming to the main universe. So Aquabat wasn't created from a stray thought of Earth-Main-Earth Batman. She was created by a stray thought from gender bent Earth-11 Batman! Okay, everything is straight now! Oh, I didn't mean that to sound like a micro-aggression! I just meant everything was back to normal! Oh man. That was a micro-aggression too, wasn't it? I just reiterated my implication that straight is normal!

Batwoman on Earth-Negative-Eleven decided to kill all the bad guys just like the Batperson on all the other negative Earths. Apparently that's Batman's constant dark thought on every world in which he exists. He just goes around thinking, "Why don't I just kill all of these assholes? Stupid Bat-Rules." On this world, he killed them all because they killed his lover Catman. Not that Catman! Differently gendered Selina Kyle! His name was Sylvester Kyle and my boner is disappointed that Catwoman had to get the gender bent treatment. I want to see Bryce and Selina make out. And yes that means I want to co-opt their lesbianism for my own heterosexual turn-ons! We can't all be saints!

Is the trident regarded as a phallic weapon or am I picturing dicks incorrectly?

I know I have a lot of fun attacking bad writers and artists in a hyperbolic way but whenever I hear Jim Lee give an interview, I feel bad about complaining about his scribbles all over the art he does. I genuinely like Jim Lee so much that it makes me hate myself for every time I critiqued a piece of his art that I didn't care for. Even though my hyperbolic rants are meant to be taken as the over-the-top ridiculous rantings of a rabid comic book fan, I know many people take this shit seriously instead of absorbing the whimsical feeling I have while while writing it. And since I like Jim Lee so much, I have to confront the fact that I might even like Scott Lobdell or (God forbid!) Cullen Bunn! Maybe I should stop being so mean? I mean so directly mean! I can be indirectly mean by making fun of the comic book and specific pieces of art that I scan because there's something wrong with them (like the way every colorist always fucks up the stripes in the American flag)! What I'm trying to say is this: "Jim Lee, I love you and I wish you were my father."

So Bryce transformed herself into Aquabat to defeat all of the Atlanteans on Earth-Negative-Eleven. You know the story from the past Dark Nights books. Batperson wins but still can't save the world. Batjoker arrives with the shuttle to Earth-Main-Earth. Everybody rides the train to funkytown. Earth-Main-Earth suffers horribly because the Justice League are terrible at saving the lives of people who don't get to be characters in the comic book. It seems it's okay to kill thousands of people nowadays and still finish the story with the idea that the good guys somehow won.

Aquabat turns Mera into one of its drowned henchman and then Doctor Fate saves Aquaman. Couldn't he have gotten there a bit sooner and saved Mera too? Or just saved Mera, really. Nobody cares about Aquaman.

Dark Nights: Batman the Drowned #1 Rating: Apparently I'm reading a different comic book than all of the comic book review sites on the Internet. According to the advertisement for Metal in this issue, other reviewers are saying embarrassing things like "Like a good guitar lick, it'll melt your face off." Who writes that and thinks it's clever? Worse, who reads that and thinks it's clever enough to be used as a review blurb?! Here's another good one because it shows they know all about the metal music genre: "Just hold on tight and ride the lightning." Since it's an Internet quote, I'm surprised they weren't asking us to ride the "lightening." It's as if these reviewers heard about the concept of this comic series and wrote their reviews on that! Because I agree with the review that said "one of the most viscerally exciting comics series to kick off this year." But I only agreed with it before I read all of these tie-in Dark Nights books! And I only agreed with it before I had to actually think about most of Scott Snyder's plot points! I mean, I still agree with it in that I love this kind of comic book shit! And I'll love it even when it's not as good as I was hoping it would be. It's just that I can't bring myself to laud something in this way simply because it gets the comic book nerd inside me erect. I expect the writing to give me that same visceral feeling! It's just that it never does. Especially these fucking Dark Knight Origin Stories that are all basically the same.

I think to write the kind of glowing reviews that Internet comic book lovers write, I need to just read the comic book without writing about it, not think about it while I'm not writing about it, somehow maintain a boner through whatever means necessary while reading it (to, you know, keep my interest and keep some of the blood out of my brain), and then talk about it with a really stupid friend who can't get enough of all the comic books. Then maybe I'd walk away thinking, "That was fucking awesome!" It's also possible I'm simply dead inside.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Team Titans #9

I bet Nightrider has the fattest cock.

I wonder if vampire cocks have tiny little teeth so they can suck you?

If the only evidence of human civilization after its collapse was my blog, I wonder what future cosmic archaeologists would think of Earth? I bet they'd conclude that it must have housed the greatest culture of all time and space, even if they were a bit obsessed with their own genitals.

Ugh! Where's the Comics Code Authority when you need them?!

Between the end of last issue and the beginning of this issue, Mirage put on a bra. That seems like a weird thing to do when you're about to have sex with somebody. "Wait, wait! My breasts don't have enough support for the raw fucking you're about to lay down on my asshole!" Oh, well when I put it that way, it makes sense. I guess I'm just like every other comic book loving nerd. I eagerly await the chance to make excuses for poor plotting and continuity errors!

The vampire at the end of the last issue apparently wasn't Nightrider even though it looked exactly like Nightrider. My mistake for believing the odds of a vampire from the past looking exactly like Dagon were greater than they actually were. Apparently vampires in their vampire form all look pretty much the same. Or it could be Phil Jimenez's art. He sort of draws like George Pérez if George Pérez were drawing with the pencil shoved into his butthole. I'm pretty sure I've seen him do that at a convention for twenty bucks.

Bloodlines has begun to be advertised in the current batch of comics I've been reading and I now know what people mean when they use the term "triggered."

After some bullshit where Deathwing abuses Mirage and Donna Troy kicks him out of the house and Battalion is (probably not really) devoured by vampires, Dagon gets a chance to hear the lead vampire's origin story. He was a scientist studying the hole in the ozone layer. But instead of coming up with a way to repair the ozone layer or to stop its depletion, he decided to dabble in genetics. He figured the ozone layer was a lost cause because people weren't going to give up their hairsprays and refrigerators. So instead he created a way to alter people's DNA so they could live under the harsh light of a non-ozone shielded sun. I've got to give him credit for thinking so far outside of the box that I can't even think of an analogy to describe it. Science: it can do anything nobody asked for!

This scientist was so bad at sciencing that instead of manipulating the genome to create a race of people that could survive under the harsh rays of the vile sun, he did the exact opposite. He tested it on himself and he became a vampire. But not only could he not bear the sun's rays (which you would think, if he were an adept scientist and we readers were able to suspend our disbelief enough to think that any of this genetic tampering would work anyway), he could shapeshift and needed to drink blood. I guess all of those genes are interconnected.

Dagon drinks some blood not realizing it's Battalion's. Now he's one of the bad vampires! It's too bad he didn't go to school like the rest of the Team Titans so he could become a total heartthrob that all the girls would be dying to die for.

The Team Titans return to the Troy place to pick up Mirage but wind up discovering true terror: Terry Long in a robe. *SHUDDER*

Team Titans #9 Rating: This comic book isn't getting any better. I'm not really an art critic so I can't say what's wrong with Jimenez's art but there's something wrong with it. It's like when you look at a good painting and then your friend sends you a pic of their turd floating in a toilet bowl and then both images merge and you don't know what you've done with your life to arrive at this point. But I am a writing critic and Marv Wolfman's writing is the turd in your friend's pic.

Monday, October 16, 2017

New Titans #98

I'm hesitant to say this is the worst Titans line-up ever because it lacks Aqualad and Speedy but it's pretty terrible.

When I was in junior high, three songs would make my little love-struck heart dissolve into a weepy mess: "Against All Odds," "Total Eclipse of the Heart," and "Hello." The song titles don't actually include the punctuation but I think that's how Americans like to deal with punctuation and quotes. We're idiots. Usually I ignore the rule but sometimes I feel like toeing the line and doing the thing I'm supposed to do. I really struggled with whether or not I should leave out the totally optional (and especially useless in this case) Oxford comma. Did all of that grammar bullshit make you forget about me as a young boy weeping inconsolably due to a few pop songs that made me think about Marilyn Mendoza? Okay, good! Because that boy wasn't a soft boy at all! He was hard! HARD I TELL YOU!

Not like that, you pervo.

The Darkening continues to darken everything in its path. Luckily it's only been a short path from Councilwoman Alderman to Future Nightwing. I'm certain the person darkening everybody must be some form of Raven having gone Full Trigon. I mean, she can't really be dead, can she? Phantasm can though. Anything plot developments that help erase the memory of Danny Chase are appreciated.

Pantha gets a lot of pages at the beginning of this issue. She uses most of them to make cat jokes about herself.

His excuse is that he's not bloody?

For younger comic book readers, what Pantha is doing in this scene is thinking to herself. That's a thought bubble. It's been replaced by character narration boxes. The main difference between the two is that thought bubbles are things the character is thinking in the current scene and character narration boxes are comments from the character as if they're giving a director's commentary track on the story to the reader. They're terrible for the comic book medium. The whole point of comic books is to allow the pictures to tell a good portion of the story. But a lot of modern comic book writers seem to write scripts that give no thought to the medium. So it's tons and tons of Narration Boxes describing the action and the plot and the intent of the character. It's fucking lazy.

Not that older comic books didn't do a lot of the same thing! Non-modern writers had their share of lazy writers too! It's just they used omnipotent narrative voices in their narration boxes. Plus maybe they thought the kids reading the comic books were stupid. So they'd write a panel where the art depicts Lois driving off of a cliff and Lois thinks to herself, "Oh no! I'm driving off of a cliff!" Placed just over this scene is a narration box saying "Lois Lane drives off of a cliff!", an obviously needed redundancy for all of those daft kids.

Also note in the panel above how Red Star enjoys the home shopping network. He's no communist! He enjoys all the perks of a capitalist system, even the most terrible ones.

Orange is as orange does. Or something.

I don't get Dick's threat to Pantha about spitting out hairballs. Is he going to force her to groom herself incessantly as punishment? "You're a dirty, dirty half-woman, half-cat beast! Clean yourself good! Make sure you get your butthole. Oh yeah. Get that leg in the air! Oh. OH. OH YEAH! I'm coming all over you! Now lick that up too until you choke on a hairball, you slut." Then everybody shames Pantha for months on end because she let Dick jerk off on her.

Meanwhile Kory spends the night at a club with Jason Priestley. Unless it's meant to be the short one with the forehead. You know! The guy who played Dylan McKay! Not that I watched that show obsessively because fuck you judging my choices as a younger person! Like buying this comic book well past the hundredth issue!

Jason Priestley gets darkened as Kory flees from the club when a fan asks her to autograph her picture in a porno magazine. The picture was the one taken of Mirage shape-shifted to look like Kory. Maybe Kory shouldn't be so angry at Dick and realize that Mirage is a terrible person who has completely fucked with both of their lives. Hopefully she'll be dead soon in Team Titans #9.

Nothing much happens with the Titans. They learn Garfield tried to steal the Mento helmet and then disappeared. He's been kidnapped by the Brotherhood of Evil who have a knew member of the team: Rita Farr! Gasp! Shock! Faint!

There's something so inappropriate about this picture that I have an erection.

New Titans Rating: Two and a half stars out of five. Generally, I like when comic books slow the plot down to establish more scenes where characters simply get to interact with each other in day-to-day life. But all of those scenes in this issue just seem to be inserted to delay the reveal of Evil Raven's identity. I suppose if the dialogue were better written, I'd have really liked this issue. But Marv Wolfman tends to write scenes that are superficial and one-dimensional. Half a dozen pages of Pantha making cat jokes followed by a few more of her finding ways to call Kory a slut. There isn't any evidence of why any of these people would actually stay together to be a team. Is there a rule in the superhero community that you can't kick somebody out of a team unless you're Batman? Why do the Titans even exist if none of them can stand each other? Gar is angry that nobody has helped Cyborg. Cyborg is less animated than the microwave. Pantha hates everybody, even baby Wildebeest (who everybody is annoyed by). Dick and Kory are constantly fighting. Only Red Star seems to not have any problems with the rest of the team. But I don't care about that because he's even more boring than the microwave. I mean Cyborg!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Team Titans #8

Deathwing's urine is black.

This might be the worst cover of a comic book I've ever seen. Although if it were an underground comic book that was full of penises and vaginas, it would probably be acceptable.

This issue begins a day after Nightwing was attacked by Possibly-Not-So-Raven. What has he been up to since then (besides drinking the blood of women)? Here's how the Narrator chooses to describe the previous day's events:

Judging by the construction of the sentence, I'm guessing the pleasures were part of what would have driven most men to suicide. I'm racking my brain trying to come up with something pleasurable that would make me want to kill myself. Eating a chocolate bar that tastes like getting a blowjob? I'm sure one of the pains that would make me want to kill myself is eating a chocolate bar that tastes like giving a blowjob.

I don't want anybody to think I'm down on giving blowjobs! Thank the maker that anybody, male or female, wants to give them! They are the true saints of this world. I'm just not one of those people. I don't think. Not like I've ever tried to put a penis that wasn't my own into my mouth.

Deathwing has been leaving corpses around the city drained of blood so that the Team Titans can suspect their teammate, Dagon. He is a vampire, after all. Hopefully somebody asks him if he's been killing people and he gets super upset that they'd suspect him because I love bullshit drama! It's why I watch Arrow! Or watched it, at least. I haven't even checked to see if the DC superhero shows have started. I think maybe I'm going to skip them this year. If I'm curious later, there's always Netflix.

This is the naked butt of alternate timeline Nightwing. It's from a timeline where his ass was just average.

Deathwing decides to change his costume because now he's cooler. For some reason, he keeps the terrible hair and the huge collar. The way he makes his costume more bad-ass is by baring his chest and piercing his left nipple. Plus spikes!

Deathwing looks like a vampire from Salem's Lot trying to look like a vampire from The Lost Boys.

Deathwing isn't the only problem the Team Titans must deal with this issue. They also have to deal with how boring and unfair school is and, once more, The Judge and Jury. They're busy judging scientists and killing them. Deathwing arrives and hires them. When you become a vampire, do you automatically become an asshole who likes hanging out with assholes and doing asshole things? Judging by this comic book and The Lost Boys, I'm going to guess yes. Unless your name is Lestat and then you just whinge and cry about how tough your life is. Why was Lestat anybody's favorite in Anne Rice's series? Louis was the best vampire! At least in the first book. I seem to remember liking another vampire in another book but I don't really remember them that well.

The Team Titans find Dagon and his new coven of vampires. I guess Dagon is just as much a dick as every other vampire. At least this is a better twist than Dagon getting upset that nobody trusted him. He wasn't to be trusted at all, the stupid vampire.

Meanwhile, Miri stayed home to wait for Dick. He arrives and the book ends with him about to murder her as they fuck. That should be an interesting issue.

Team Titans #8 Rating: Five sexy vampires out of fifteen Salem's Lot vampires. That's a pretty miserable score because one Salem's Lot vampire can probably murder an entire coven of sexy vampires. They're way too image conscious. Better to just look like a scary, undead freak so you don't have to worry about what people think when you enter their bedrooms and feast on them. Most of the bad score is due to the story and the way the narrator speaks directly to the reader but a bit of it is due to Jimenez's artwork. His style doesn't work for me at all. That's my way of saying it's terrible but in a way that lets me off the hook if somebody disagrees with me.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Deathstork the Terminator #23

Janissary would have been a terrible name for a death metal group in the 80s that the group would have used anyway. You know, like just about all of them.

I had to look up Janissary because I'm not into tabletop miniature war games that deal with the battles of the Ottoman Empire. I thought maybe the Janissary was the adversary of Janis Ian. He definitely looks like what I expect that to look like: the front man for a Prog rock group that's decided he's going the glam rock route. You know, so he can still sing about Ayn Rand but also score the chicks with some ballads that talk a lot about love cutting like a knife.

I probably shouldn't have glossed over what the Janissaries actually were because — holy shit! — it made me say, "Holy shit!", after reading it. From the Wikipedia entry:

[The Janissaries] began as an elite corps of slaves made up of kidnapped young Christian boys who were forced to convert to Islam, and became famed for internal cohesion cemented by strict discipline and order.

It sounds like they were the real life inspiration for The Unsullied. But what's really intriguing me is why did this Deathstork enemy take that name?!

I thought Issue #22 was a standalone story but apparently this is the conclusion. See, Deathstork pissed off some people who were using him because it backfired and he killed the people trying to manipulate him (as well as some neo-nazis). This issue begins with the government man responsible for pissing off Deathstork hiring a mercenary (probably the Janissary, right?!) to kill Deathstork.

He's paying you in outdated thousand dollar bills! Of course it's a set up!

I can't tell if the cover artist fucked up on Janissary's gloves or the regular artist did. I'm kind of hoping the cover artist did because fingerless spiked gloves fits the glam rock model better.

The Janissary doesn't explain why he took the name in his introductory scene. My guess is that once in junior high, he read a bit about how bad ass they were as a military unit and it stuck with him. So when his life fell apart as an adult and he desperately turned to killing people for money, he recalled the Janissary and took it as his own. It's not like he's made any real effort to model his uniform after them. At least as far as I can tell from the page of images Lord Google dumped in my lap when I did the least amount of research I could possibly do. You know, typing "Janissary uniforms" into Google and glancing quickly at the results.

The Janissary and Deathstork beginning fighting fairly early in the comic. But that's the least interesting part of the book. Eventually you're going to get to a paragraph in this "review" and it will go from me bitching about some minor detail to "Deathstork beats Janissary and we never find out why Janissary chose that stupid name."

By the way, here's a minor detail that bugged the hell out of me:

Did somebody forget they only have one eye?

If you only have one eye, do you blink? Or is just every blink a wink? Or is it the opposite? Can you never actually wink when you have one eye because it's just a blink?

Janissary catches up to Deathstork on a train after their initial fight is interrupted by the police. At one point, Deathstork says, "What did you say your name was again? The Janissary? Let's finish it." How does he ask him that and not ask him why he chose that name?! I'm so angry at Deathstork right now for not sating my curiosity!

Deathstork beats Janissary and we never find out why Janissary chose that stupid name. But Deathstork doesn't kill him so maybe Janissary made another appearance eventually and we learn why he chose it then! Looking him up on the DC Database, this was his only appearance. But apparently the name was taken up by a woman in later years. She's a Muslim woman so in one sense it fits the name better. But in the other sense that The Janissary began as kidnapped Christian boys forced to convert to Islam, it doesn't fit at all!

Deathstork the Terminator #23 Rating: Five Christian boys out of fifteen Muslim boys. I'm not sure what the exchange rate is between Christian and Muslim boys so you're going to have to figure out the math on whether I liked this issue or not. I'm fairly certain you can make a more than educated guess.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Deathstork the Terminator #22

This comic book was popular enough to go biweekly?

There's not way I kept up with this series once it went biweekly. At twenty-one years old, you have a sense to avoid people and things that are trying too hard. Why? I don't know why! I just made that fact up to explain my behavior!

Anyway, I'm fairly certain I purchased one issue of this after this one and gave up on it. Apparently I was beginning to be a discriminating comic book reader! But not that discriminating because I kept buying New Titans.

Deathstork the Terminator #22 Rating: Six corpses out of nine. In this issue, Deathstork kills a bunch of neo-nazis and then kills the government agents behind the recruiting of the neo-nazis. If this were a story out of today's headlines, it would be much better. Where is Deathstork when we truly need him?!

New Titans #97

"Darkening" is a stupid word and its use here makes me think this is a parody comic book.

I think I just hit on why this run of the Titans was so terrible! It was an inadvertent parody comic book. In DC's effort to create their own X-men franchise, they attempted to paste together all the things they thought made the franchise so popular. What they got was a Frankenstein's monster of ideas and poorly written characters. I can't say that the X-men was any better at the time since I didn't read it. But it didn't translate very well to DC's piss poor clone.

If people wonder why I've been conditioned to think Cyborg is boring, Beast Boy is a sexual predator, Nightwing is a whiny asshole, and Starfire is a raging rageaholic, look no further than this series! I read over one hundred issues of this shit for some reason. I think it's because my brain wasn't fully formed! I began reading this comic book at about thirteen. By the time this issue comes out, I'd be twenty-one. I guess my brain was formed enough at this point that I probably should have realized it was terrible. But to be fair to my brain, it was now being inundated with alcohol and LSD. So it was having trouble communicating to me how terrible Marv Wolfman's writing was.

The issue begins with Garfield stealing his father's Mento helmet for The Brotherhood of Evil. They've promised to restore Cyborg in exchange. More like they're probably going to put The Brain inside Cyborg's body! Think these things through, Garfield!

Next, Kory gets angry at Dick because he was raped by Mirage.

Kory is gross.

You might think I'm coloring the past by today's standards but I read this nearly 25 years ago when it was new and it was just as terrible back then. You can't be angry at a guy for liking the rape sex! I don't think. Can you? Now I'm confused. I suppose Kory is masking her victim blaming by taking the whole "you don't love me enough to recognize my vagina" tack which still seems cruel. I'm pretty sure if I was blindfolded and you stuck a bunch of vaginas on my penis, I don't think I'd be able to tell which one was the Non-Certified Spouse's vagina. We should probably test my theory! I wonder if the Non-Certified Spouse would be up for some science this weekend?

Kory decides to break up with Dick while telling him that he deserves to be with his rapist. Stay classy, Starfire!

"If I had a girlfriend like that, I'd totally avoid being raped!"

In all seriousness though (because rape is a serious subject), a guy being fucked by a woman without his consent isn't always the worst thing in the world. Sometimes it's just as bad which is why I'm not supposed to say things like that previous sentence. But sometimes? It's just more sex with women that a guy wasn't expecting! That's nearly always a good thing! I'm speaking from personal experience so you can't attack me for that opinion! Unless I'm just suppressing my pain and anger at waking up to that woman fucking me that one time. No, no. I don't think I am. I'm not suggesting women should use that move though! At least not for a first time. I actually am suggesting that move for people who are already in an intimate relationship because it's pretty hot.

Aw geez. Now Dick's blaming himself! Good fucking job, Kory!

Marv Wolfman has no idea how to deal with rape sensitively! I should know. Have you been reading the way I've been dealing with it?!

So this is how darkening happens! You make deals with criminals to save your best boring friend's life. You get super angry that your boyfriend was fooled into fucking another woman. You get blamed for enjoying the rape sex by your girlfriend! And probably some other things although I don't know if there are really any Titans left after that Titans Hunt story arc. I guess Pantha and Baby Wildebeest?

However much sympathy I had for Dick as his days were beginning to darken, it all went out the window after he calls Alfred to help solve his problems.

"When you talk to her, her head echoes"? Fuck you, Dick! I stand with Kory!

On the next page, Raven decides it's time to take care of Councilwoman Alderman once and for all. So she rapes her. Look, Marv Wolfman wrote this comic book and he called it "The Darkening." Did you expect less rape?

This is how Kory wanted Dick to react, I guess.

Nightwing meets with Speedy (now going by Super Special Secret Sauce Agent Roy Harper of Checkmate) to discuss how the government hates the Titans. I don't blame them. They're almost to issue #100 and I think they've maybe acted heroically about four times? Every other time they're called into action it's simply to defend themselves. The city would be attacked less if they simply moved to the country.

There's a scene in Azarath where the person I thought was Raven stomps on Raven's bones and destroy's Phantasm's mask. So unless it's Evil Raven trying to separate herself from her humanity, I suppose I was wrong about accusing Raven of raping the Councilwoman. I don't remember who this is. I hope they don't spend twenty issues revealing who it is. They already did that bullshit in the Wildebeest story.

Finally, Plasmus reveals the plans of The Brotherhood of Evil. They will use the Mento helmet to revive The Brain and take over the world!

When did Mallah go punk? Or is that New Wave?

New Titans #97 Rating: Zero stars out of one star. You might think that's a better score than zero stars out of a million stars but you'd be wrong. Zero is a funny thing, you know? Nothing in this issue interested me which means it's a mystery as to why I purchased issue #98. I guess because I couldn't not find out how The Darkening ended?! It's so mysterious!

Who thinks anything in comic books is an accurate representation of anything in real life? Paul N. Hicks, I'm shaking my damn head at you from twenty five years in the future.

Team Titans #7

Judging by their horrified expressions, Dick must have gotten a larger collar.

Hey, terrible Internet writers who yammer on about how terrible they are but secretly think they're actually pretty good at writing! You might find some hope in the way Marv Wolfman begins this comic book:

"New York City has been known as The Big Apple. And as such, it has its occasional worm!"

I think the exclamation point after worm really sells the line, making it seem like Marv Wolfman is standing right next to me nudging me with his elbow going, "See? See what I did there! See?"

Now, if Marv Wolfman can make a career out of schlock lines like that, who's to say you, terrible Internet writer, can't make a career of it as well?!

I know. I shouldn't be criticizing Marv Wolfman. The man is a legend in the field of comic books! And rightly so because get a load of the title of this issue: "The Darkening Night, Part One: Heroes Aren't Born, They're Unmade!" Wait, what?

I'm embarrassed that I was reading this at 21. Don't purposefully misunderstand me like everybody on the Internet makes a career of doing all the time with everybody else on the Internet! I don't mean I'm embarrassed because I was 21 and reading comic books. I'm not even completely embarrassed that I read this comic book. I'm embarrassed that after reading this comic book, I still picked up Team Titans #8!

Jimenez drew this guy perfectly seeing as how his big line is "Here's yer show-biz right here. I'm Arnold an' I'm gonna terminate ya! Ha ha ha!"

The other gang members aren't much better with their threats.

So basically he's threatening to shoot her through the cheek?

After Nightwing beats up the thugs and flees the scene, the bystanders sodomize the criminals.

"Whatever we want"?! Is that guy crazy? He's in New York, not Texas!

Nightwing gets a major boner beating up criminals and rushes off to find Mirage's vagina and/or butthole. That sounds like the kind of thing I'd generally make up because I think it's funny but when Marv Wolfman is actually writing it, it's kind of creepy.

Maybe I should take a closer look at what I find humorous!

Most of the issue is spent acclimating the Team Titans to school in 1993 (they're from 2003 so it's super different! Also they're from an alternate timeline so, you know, super different!). Some down time is spent on the Troy-Long farm that's mostly just to show that Mirage and Nightwing love to fuck. They fuck so much that Terra is all, "I want to fuck an old man too!" And you know where that leads! More time travel and statutory rape! I think. Understanding DC continuity is harder than understanding why Lost thought John Locke's character arc should be a circle going from loser back to loser.

I don't know why I brought up Lost after all these years. I think I might be bitter. Or it might be because it's on my mind having purchased the Lost board game at an old junk shop a few weeks ago.

The Darkening of the title must refer to the spooky person hunting down future Nightwing to turn him into Deathwing. Since there's only one spooky person in the Titan's universe, it must be some crazy ass version of Raven.

Oh, I shouldn't forget to mention that Battalion swears a lot and continues to try to be the next big character hit sensation of the 90s. He's obviously a tryhard attempt at creating magic with the fans. Too bad Marv Wolfman didn't realize in 1993 that what fans really wanted was a teenage boy who was killed and then resurrected to be super angry about the way Batman didn't bring him back to life. A young kid who felt unloved and was super rebelling against his parental figure? Angst-ridden teens eat that shit up!

Team Titans #7 Rating: Some stars out of more stars than that, maybe even double as many. I can't judge this book by how heroic the Team Titans acted since they aren't technically a superhero team (despite their name!). Their mission to the past is over and now, like every other teen in 1993, they just need to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. My prediction is they're going to get darkened!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Dark Nights: Metal #3

I'm trying to be more positive so I'd like to praise John Romita Jr. for how well he draws monster teeth. If he drew them, that is!

If John Romita Jr. actually had drawn them, I'd expect them to be boxier, like the monster had a mouth full of C batteries. It wouldn't surprise me at all if somebody else drew the monster teeth on this cover for John Romita Jr. I remember a time when I thought the guitarist for Extreme, Nuno Bettencourt, was one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Right up until I read the liner notes and discovered Dweezil Zappa played the solo in Play With Me and the entire Flight of the Bumblebee bit. Although now I can't find any verification of this on the Internet except for a couple of people on a wiki discussion page asking the same question about crediting Dweezil Zappa on Extreme's first album. Now I want to track down an old copy of the tape version of the album to see exactly what the liner notes said! I think maybe Nuno Bettencourt made a deal with the devil to change history so he wouldn't feel humiliated about that first album. Um, it's also possible that I'm remembering things incorrectly. I'm not going all in on my memory being sacrosanct and declaring this an example of the Mandela Effect! Although that's what the Mandela Effect is anyway! People declaring their faulty memories are more correct than proven facts. So, um, maybe I should! Dweezil Zappa totally did all the guitar work for Extreme, except for the part in "More Than Words" when the acoustic guitar is thumped. I think Nuno could take care of that.

Last issue ended with Batman being slapped between two pieces of cheese and becoming a wagon wheel. No wait. He became an entire wagon! The wagon thing was due to his name being Wayne which meant he was the wagon that would carry Barbatos to Earth-New-Earth. But before Barbatos can joy ride in, the Bat-inspired evil Justice League need to remake Earth-Main-Earth into a hell dimension. It's kind of like when I reserve a hotel room and the staff makes sure the floors, walls, and ceiling are lined with tin foil and mayonnaise.

Superman and Wonder Woman, who were defeated by Batjoker, wake up thanks to Diana's lasso of truth (which she apparently has again? For some reason? I'm not currently reading Wonder Woman but last I read, she left it behind to help some stupid kid not die or something). Now they have to save the world! Although they really should know that this is Batman's story and it's going to be up to him to save the world. If I were Superman or Wonder Woman, I would just find a quiet place to ride this shitstorm out.

Wonder Woman seems to know what's up. That's probably explained in the issue where Doctor Fate gathers all the heroes together to tell them how to beat Barbatos. I don't know what issue that will be. Or was? I don't think I missed any issues but this beginning is a bit confusing. I guess the reader is supposed to be viewing everything through Superman's eyes since he has no clue what's been happening. He's just as surprised as I was to see Jimmy Olsen transformed into Most Definitely Not Superman's Pal, Doomsday Olsen.

Superman ditches Wonder Woman because why go into battle supported by somebody practically just as strong as you? Better to just fly into a rage and straight into a situation you know nothing about. It almost always works out anyway. Sure, sometimes you die for awhile. But that's barely a speed bump if you're Superman!

How come heroes always say shit like this? Have they never been around their friends when their friends are drunk? "Good" goes out the window pretty fucking easily.

The Flash races out of a giant ankh to rescue Superman from the Bat-inspired evil Justice League. He takes him to The Oblivion Bar where Detective Chimp reminds everybody that the DC Universe heartily sucked for a long while because Dan DiDio believed it wasn't a place for fun and whimsy. Of course, that's all being taken care of now with this Rebirth and Watchmen shit. Now all the idiots who thought Comics Shouldn't Be Fun Again are backpedaling and pretending it was the fault of everybody but the editors in charge. "It was the Watchmen! They changed it all for the worse!" "It was the fans! This is what they said they wanted!" "It wasn't Jim Lee, Geoff Johns, or Dan DiDio at all! Stop looking at us! I mean them!"

Oh! Tomorrow is Friday the 13th! I have to remember to play the Friday the 13th video game tomorrow because they have to do something special, right? Like maybe log the IP of everybody who plays and send Jason around to murder us all? How fun would that be! Seriously! Please somebody kill me. This country has gotten so terrible.

Racist! Or anti-golem? Whatever it is, it's probably gross, right? Am I doing youth correctly?

Other people hiding out in the Oblivion Bar are Steel, Mister Terrific, the Justice League, Green Arrow, Damian Wayne, and Plastic Man stuck in the form of a giant egg. But even as an egg, he's able to vibrate out a message. Wonder Woman translates it as "Oh. OH! OoOoOoHhHhHh! OH ZEUS YES!" Mister Terrific translates it as coordinates to deep space, beneath Atlantis, and the center of the multiverse. What kind of chart can graph those coordinates? An XYZZZZZZZZZZZ chart? I buy that Mister Terrific can figure them out but how the fuck did Plastic Man do the math on them? He's just a petty, clumsy crook turned accidental superhero! I don't remember him being a maths genius!

Plastic Egg also gives some negative coordinates and Mister Terrific is all, "These don't make sense! I may be a genius but I don't understand how coordinates work!" Luckily Superman is there to be all, "Nobody pay attention to this whole thing about negative numbers not being valid coordinates! He probably means the Dark Multiverse!" And everybody is all, "Whew! Good save, Superman! That certainly was a job for you!"

Deathstork arrives to help out because he has a Promethium sword. It's not Nth metal but it'll do the trick when it comes to hurting the Batjerks. Now everybody can split up and go explore all the coordinates Plastic Egg vibrated into Mister Terrific's ear. Ear? Yeah, it was probably his ear.

Steel, Flash, and Superman team up to rescue Batman from the Dark Multiverse. Mister Terrific, Green Lantern, and Plastic Egg team up to head into deep space. Doctor Fate, Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman head to the Rock of Eternity. And Aquaman and Deathstork head to the place beneath Atlantis.

Most of the teams have an easy job, following the coordinates. But Superman's team has to rely on Superman making up a theory as to how they can get to the Dark Multiverse. Luckily, it's a comic book so science that is pure speculation is usually good enough to get the job done.

Superman makes it to the Dark Multiverse but finds that it's a trap! Surprise! Batman was trying to warn Superman not to save him but Superman was too dumb to figure out Batman's genius code. So typical of Superman. He never does the smart thing. He should have listened to Nightwing. Everybody should listen to Nightwing! He's the only one that ever knows what's going on.

Not only is it a trap but it's part of Barbatos's plan. He needs Superman's body to be the battery for his gadget to turn Earth-Main-Earth into a hell dimension. It's too bad that all of the ancient texts Hawkman and Hawkwoman read didn't say something about Superman being the key to the rise of Barbatos. All the clues pointed to Batman! So once again, Hawkman fucked up. What an idiot.

Dark Nights: Metal #3 Rating: Not too bad. I mean, Mister Terrific, the world's third smartest man, made a stupid mistake. But that's to be expected when Not the World's Third Smartest Man is writing the comic book. It's hard to write a genius when you have to know things. Which sucks because writers are writers so they don't have to know stuff! You get to just make shit up! I mean, sure, you can do research. But what if you don't know you need to do research when you're writing about something like, say, coordinates?! Obviously all coordinates must be positive, right? How can negative coordinates exist in the world?! That doesn't make any sense! Which is why latitude and longitude are totally fake news. Those places in negative latitudes and longitudes either don't exist or are composed of pure evil.

Mainly I'm excited for the Aquaman/Deathstork team-up. I hope that becomes a forty-five issue maxi-series.

Michael Cray #1

This would be my reaction to seeing Green Arrow too.

Oh man. I hope Green Arrow dies in this series! I know it won't be the real Green Arrow who dies but I'll still masturbate over the scene anyway. Wait. Did I type that out loud?

The best moment in DC Comics' entire history was when Green Arrow couldn't disarm that bomb while Superman watched. The worst moment was when Kevin Smith brought him back to life. I know some people are now angry at me for not thinking the worst moment was when Kevin Smith made it canon that Batman pissed himself. To those people, I say, "Let he who hasn't pissed himself piss the first piss."

I just realized that if this comic book isn't about Michael Cray trying to kill Green Arrow like I think it is, everybody is going to be confused by my previous statements. "Why is this Lobo loving mental midget talking about Green Arrow?" Twat Lobo loving Anonymous will probably ask. That guy is the worst at relaxing and just having a good time! And I don't mean "guy" as a non-gender specific term! Somebody that didactic and lacking in whimsy is almost certainly a dude. How dare you suggest my reviews are biased?! I am the most objectionable reviewer on the Internet! I mean objective!

Michael Cray has been tasked with putting together a task force. That sounds like the first line to a dirty limerick where some buy sucks off a horse in the final line. I don't have time to work out the middle details!

Let me start over! Michael Cray has been put in charge of something called Executive Protection Services. That sounds like the code name for a sexy escort slash bodyguard business. I think Terra from Deathstork works for Michael Cray.

I can't remember which secret Wildstorm organization Michael Cray is working for now. Skywatch, maybe? Is that one of them?

Luckily for my introduction to this non-biased review, Michael Cray's first assignment is to kill Oliver Queen. That's Green Arrow's secret identity, for people who didn't know that and somehow are reading a comic book blog review about some guy named Michael Cray. Who are you people? Weirdos.

Michael Cray reminds everybody that the reason he's working with this new agency was because he refused to kill people without any good reason. Isn't big bucks good enough reason, you equivocating bastard! I don't even know what "equivocating" means but it sounded like it worked there.

Some people out there might be thinking, "How do we know we're nearing the End Times?" Probably because I'm getting angry at the way people use the word "selfie" for regular pictures of people taken by other people! You ignorant fools!

Oh, I'm sorry! Some of you Wildstorm fans who accidentally thought they were reading an actual review of this comic book might be surprised to find that I constantly interrupt myself with thoughts that are too long to Tweet which I don't have time to cut down to 140 characters. And nobody is going to give me, Grunion Guy, a 280 character Twitter account! Although they should because that's only about 80 characters longer than most of my novels.

That's not San Francisco! As if you could see that many stars from The City.

That's Oliver Queen waking up after having a nightmare about that time he crashed on a wacky island. Having been raised in the lap of luxury without ever having to fend for himself, he of course becomes an expert bowman and survivalist through sheer force of will. It's important to see that Oliver Queen may have been born rich but he was still the type of man who could make something of himself without his parents' wealth and privilege. Also he remembered how Bruce Wayne left behind everything to become the greatest detective the world has ever seen so Oliver was all, "I need that kind of secret origin too! But a little bit different so that people don't just think I'm Batman with a bow and old fashioned facial hair!"

Michael Cray moves to Oakland where he meets the world's least skittish mouse. He touches it and it blows up. I guess that's Cray's superpower? I might have been mistaken as to why he was called Deathblow. Was that blow job joke subtle enough to pass for a G Rating? I wonder if the three people Michael Cray hires for his team will sometimes tell people, "Oh yeah, I'm out in Oakland working the Deathblow job." Then those people will never talk to them again.

Michael Cray's dad plagiarizes my Green Arrow origin story. Is that how plagiarism works? Probably!

Michael Cray's dad explains that Oliver Queen is a rich asshole. He apparently "helps funnel narcotics and guns into the 'wrong' neighborhoods. Crime goes up. Then he privately funds political efforts to hammer down on them with the police." That's almost exactly what Bruce Wayne does! He drives criminals into certain sections of Gotham. Real estate prices fall due to increased crime. Bruce Wayne buys up all the cheap properties and then Batman drives the crime out of the area. Later, Bruce Wayne jerks himself off on the way to the bank!

In a scene setting up the reader to despise Oliver Queen so we don't feel icky backing a government assassination attempt, Queen treats a woman who seems to love him like she's a prostitute. Now we all hate his guts! Kill him, Michael Cray! Kill him! Oh wait a second. I already hated his guts!

If that wasn't enough reason to hate him, he also makes his sister clean his sex sheets. And if that wasn't enough, he then quotes John Donne! But he doesn't just quote him! He quotes a section of Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions in an odd way. The quote's the bit about the bell tolling for everybody (but mostly for him!) and then ends with an ellipsis to simply finish the quote with "no man is an island." He basically yada yada yada'd a huge section of Donne's pain! Fucking monster!

It's also possible Queen just went from a Donne quote to a Bon Jovi quote. "They say that no man is an island. But good things come to those who wait. But the things I hear are there just to remind me. Every dog will have his day! The spirits! They intoxicate me! I watch them infiltrate my soul! They try to say it's too late for me! Tell my guns I'm coming home! I swear! I'm gonna live forever!" Ha ha! You are not, Oliver Queen! That was a stupid thing to quote because you're going to die!

Dammit. I just realized that Michael Cray might find out that Oliver Queen is actually Green Arrow and he's really helping people so he'll have to let him live. Although why show him to be such a disgusting piece of shit if that's how the story will work out? I imagine that's how the story would work in the actual DC Universe. But in the Wildstorm universe, we're allowed to think the worst of Oliver Queen and watch him die messily.

I hope she can change his mind with some sweet, sweet government lies!

Ms. Trelane tells Cray that Oliver Queen hunts people. Why not? They're the most dangerous game! But mostly he hunts veterans so that makes him super bad. If he only hunted, say, criminals and pedophiles, people might be able to get behind him. But he hunts the nation's heroes! What a sick bastard! Ms. Trelane doesn't really care that he kills homeless people. I mean veterans! She and Skywatch (or whatever company she works for. Remember how I don't remember?!) just want his technology and market share. But she's up front with Cray about how she's manipulating him to do Skywatch's dirty work. So at least she's honest?

Oliver Queen quotes some more Donne while hunting veterans. It's a good metaphor that Queen chooses to use quotes from Devotions upon Emergent Occasions because the book is a meditation on pain and being sick. I think that means Oliver Queen knows he's a sick bastard causing people pain!

Michael Cray #1 Rating: Three stars our of four! That might only be a C Average but it also sounds like I really liked it. That way I can defend the score no matter who attacks me on it. If someone is all, "You thought this was that good?!", I can be all, "3 out of 4 stars is 75%! That's average in the ratings system of United States schoolchildren!" But if people are all, "75%?! You hardly liked this at all?", I can say, "But three stars! Out of four! That's practically all the stars!" Nobody's going to challenge me on my comic book rating of this book!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Xena Warrior Princess #1

Hooray! I'm finally getting around to reading this! I hope Xena isn't running a mob family in it.

The year was 1995. I remember hanging out in my grandparents' backyard with my cousin and a friend when we had this brief conversation:

Me: "Did you guys see that show where that woman was fighting that dude while standing on the tops of the heads of the people in the crowd?"
Friend and Cousin: "Oh my god that was so stupid!"
Me: "It was the greatest thing I have ever witnessed!"

I don't know I remember that brief snippet of a conversation from over twenty years ago so vividly. Maybe it's because it was the moment I realized I truly was better than everybody I knew! How could they have gazed upon the magic of Xena Warrior Princess and not been struck down in awe? It's the closest thing I've ever had to a religious experience. Except maybe when I realized masturbation was a thing.

I had never watched Hercules: The Legendary Journeys so I didn't know Xena was a thing. I simply caught the premiere episode accidentally and fell in love. Not with Xena! With the show! And maybe Xena a little bit. And maybe Gabrielle a lot.

Easily done!

At the time Xena aired, it was quite possibly the most in-your-face gay show that had ever appeared on television. Nowadays, it would be considered, at best, a Gals Being Pals show, one that didn't quite have the cojones to out and out out them. At worst, it would be criticized for queer baiting. The thing was, even if the show was just meant to show two gals as pals, it wasn't going to be long before a lesbian audience took the show home from the shelter and laid out a little blankie for it in front of the fireplace. It's not like any other show was developing anything like this kind of complex relationship between two women. Plus their was lots of fighting and slapstick to distract the guys from realizing they were watching a lesbian soap opera. I mean, Xena's weapon was vaginal rather than phallic! How fucking awesome is that?!

Okay, even if we leave the gay subtexts out of it, this show was truly a beacon of feminist light in television's testosterone smeared vista. Just having two women as the main characters in such a tight friendship was a major leap forward in storytelling on television. Sure, you could have a woman who is close friends with a guy. But two women who truly loved each other and enjoyed each other's company and completely supported each other? In an hour long adventure show? Television insanity!

Oh, and let's not forget about the bisexual element of the show! Xena and Gabrielle both had relationships with different men throughout the show. This show had something for everybody! Except maybe the kind of people like my cousin and friend who hate whimsy and just want it to die screaming.

Anyway, I picked up this book because I liked Valentine's writing on Catwoman. The writing here is just as solid and the story is told in an interesting way that puts telling stories at the forefront of the conflict between Rome and the Harpies. I was a bit confused because it didn't start with an epistle from one of the Borgias but I was quickly able to figure out what was going on! Smarter readers shouldn't have any trouble at all!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Dark Nights: Batman the Dawnbreaker #1

These Metal Tie-in covers remind me of copy protection on late 80s, early 90s computer games that used code wheels and color shifting technology to keep people from copying the passwords.

Why did somebody at DC Comics choose all the writers that I find mediocre to do these Dark Nights issues? So far there's been Frank Tieri, Joshua Williamson, and now Sam Humphries? At least they could have made this more entertaining for me by choosing terrible writers like Ann Nocenti, Howard Mackie, or J.T. Krul! Who chooses the most bland and boring writers for a series that's supposed to be orgasm enducing exciting?! Unless I've got a condition where yawning causes me to spontaneously jizz my pants, this series is going to be boner free.

This cover might be the first time I've seen somebdoy draw a male superhero with a thigh gap. Is that really Bruce Wayne in there? Maybe the top half is Bruce Wayne and the bottom half is Jessica Cruz. Oh man. I was wrong about the lack of boners!

This story takes place on Earth--32. That's Earth-Negative-32 and not Earth Em Dash 32. Although is it Earth En Dash Minus Sign 32 or Earth Hyphen Minus Sign 32? I would know if I gave a shit about actual grammar. At least I give more of a shit about it than Howard Mackie or his DC editors! That should give me a couple of points with the Nazis. I mean the Grammar Nazis and not the Eugenics Crazy Fun Bag Nazis! I don't want any points with them! Although if some Nazis were thrown onto my team in Halo's Big Team Battle, I suppose I would want their points to help our team win. So I guess what I'm saying is it comes down to the specific situation and the kinds of points were talking about.

On the Internet, you can't ask stupid questions that you already know the answer to just because you find it funny because everybody will see it as an opportunity to show you how smart they are. Well, I want everybody to know you don't have to answer any of the questions I asked in the previous paragraph. And if any family members are reading this, I don't want you to feel embarrassed by me because you now think I would replace an em dash with two hyphens! I've memorized the alt code for creating an em dash — Alt-0151! — and know some of the proper occasions for its use! I think!

On Earth-Negative-32, Bruce Wayne was given a Green Lantern ring as he knelt in his parents blood in Crime Alley. He immediately used the ring to kill Joe Chill by overpowering the limits on the ring with the greatest willpower that has ever existed in any fake universe that never really existed ever. I guess Earth-Negative-32 was born when young Bruce Wayne wished that he had killed his parents killer rather than just pissing his pants and weeping. Not that I'm making fun of that reaction! I think pissing your pants and weeping is the proper reaction to a whole host of experiences, none of which even come close to watching your parents murdered.

Apparently the First Law of the Green Lantern Corps is "Lethal force not permitted." I thought their First Law was either "Overcome all fear" or "Agree that Sinestro is a dick." What's the Second Law of Green Lantern Corps? "Don't fuck the aliens that look like goats"? You probably thought I was going to make a Fight Club joke there, didn't you? And maybe I did! You don't know that not fucking goats wasn't one of the Fight Club rules.

You didn't have to be alone, stupid. You do know what "corps" means, right?

I guess this is how this Dark Universe came into being. Bruce's thoughts when his parents died were "I would give anything to not feel powerless or alone." So a world was created where he got the universe's most powerful weapon and joined a large cosmic family. The only problem is he fucked it all up. I guess that's what happens when your timeline skews into the Dark Multiverse where it doesn't really exist.

Here's an example of Sam Humphries' fine writing:

Gordon: "Green Lantern. Wasn't sure you'd show up."
Green Lantern: "Gordon. I advise you to remain polite with me. The last cop who threatened me regretted it..."

Did I miss the threat in there? Or even Gordon's being impolite? It must have been in his tone.

This is another story of another universe where Batman chose to kill his enemies. I guess that's the main reason for all of Batman's Dark Earths. There must be an infinite amount of them since I'm pretty sure he thinks about killing every time he battles a villain. But then he doesn't because he knows, like an addict, just one murder will open the floodgates and he'll soon be drunk on corpses.

Eventually, the Green Lantern Corps notice something wrong with the ring sent to Earth. They head down to stop it and the entire corps is killed by Bruce Wayne. That's when he decides he doesn't want to be Green Lantern anymore. He decides to be Batman the Dawnbreaker which makes sense for some reason. I thought for a second that I knew what that reason was but then I read The Dawnbreaker's oath and I shit myself laughing.

It doesn't even maintain a proper rhythm! And that's the best part of it!

As Bruce discovers his new name, look, and oath, Earth-Negative-32 disintegrates all around him. But Batjoker turns up to recruit him to Barbatos's army. So now he's on his way to fuck up Earth-Main-Earth along with the rest of the Dark Bats.

Batman the Dawnbreaker decides to destroy Coast City but he makes a mistake. Before he can begin his murder spree, he vandalizes the Welcome to Coast City sign which completely pisses off Hal Jordan for some reason. I mean, how the hell did Hal even notice? It's not like he's ever on Earth anymore!

Hal loses the battle immediately but Doctor Fate rescues him. Doctor Fate is building a Justice League to save the Multiverse. It's weird though that he's only gathering Justice League members. I mean, he's kind of ripping off their idea, no?

Dark Nights: Batman the Dawnbreaker #1 Rating: One out of Ten Green Lantern Oaths. By darkest oath, by darkest oath! No darkest oath can darkest oath! Quoth the oath, Nevermore! Okay, so I'm as bad at creating oaths as Sam Humphries and Geoff Johns! Sue me! I mean, don't actually sue me because I can't afford an attorney. Also I don't think you can sue me for not being able to write an oath while still criticizing the ability of others to write oaths! This is America, dammit! The land of lawsuits! I mean the land of freedom!

Deathstork's art versus my version of Deathstork's art. Has somebody been reading my blog?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Dark Nights: Batman The Murder Machine #1

I opened a glorious portal into another world by scanning this metallic cover. Then I put my dick in it.

This comic book looks like the kind of comic book the ten year old version of me would have picked up off a spinner rack because it looked so fucking cool. Then I would have gone home, read it, and learned about disappointment!

I haven't actually been disappointed by the book yet but I'm a rational being who can take evidence of the world around me to help predict the outcome of certain events. Seeing as how this book is written by Frank Tieri, I'm 95% certain that it will be terrible. But there's definitely a 5% chance that I'll love the fuck out of this book because look at the poorly scanned cover! It's Batman as a murder machine!

The most interesting thing about this cover is that Batman doesn't need to be a murder machine to defeat the Justice League. He's done it multiple times before by just being regular old non-murdery, non-machine Batman!

This issue begins with Silas Stone unfazed by hackers breaking into STAR Labs computers.

"Oh, don't worry about that alarm! I have alarms set to alert me to failed hacking attempts. They're going off all the time! If a hacking attempt actually gets through the Firewall, you'll hear a farting noise."

This issue is called "Heavy Metal" and I'm already anticipating big cartoon tits and rippling animated bushes! Speaking of those things, does anybody else spontaneously orgasm when they hear Sammy Hagar's voice on the radio?

Writing credits are given to both Frank Tieri and James Tynion IV. Since James Tynion IV's name isn't on the cover, my guess is that Frank Tieri's original script was so terrible that James had to be called in to punch it up. Or what about this possibility: Tieri's script was so bigoted and vile that Tynion was brought in to slap him in the face with a copy of Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies.

Cyborg is on the Watchtower while he's speaking with his father. Cyborg was concerned about the random ringing noises in his father's lab but he was all, "Don't worry about it!" Now there's some beeping in Cyborg's space and Silas is all, "What's going on? Is that an attack?!" Who hears "Beep Beep" and thinks somebody is getting attacked? Maybe somebody's burrito has finished heating up.

Oh, also? Cyborg is being attacked!

whew! I was worried. I'm glad the Murder Machine is here to help!

Murder Machines don't kill people! People kill people!

Once Cyborg is put down by the Murder Machine, the story flashes back to months ago on Earth -44. That's Earth-Negative-Forty-Four, just to be clear! I hope the Dark Multiverse Earth-44 is similar to the Lit Multiverse Earth-44 because Green Arrow is fat in that one.

I wonder what dark thought of Batman's created Earth-Negative-Forty-Four? I bet he once walked in on Alfred sleeping and noticed Alfred had a sleep erection which Batman briefly considered flicking with his finger. And boom! Earth-Negative-Forty-Four!

The Dark Earths only last for a limited amount of time but nobody has yet mentioned how long that is. I wonder if it depends on the severity of the dark thought? And do they come into existence at the beginning of the Earth's formation? Or do they skew off the timeline at the moment of the dark thought after which shit escalates really quickly for the brief life of the dark Earth? Why isn't anybody answering these questions for me?!

Apparently, the dark thought that formed this world was Batman contemplating Alfred's death. That's similar and just as boring as the dark thought about the death of Batman's beloved children (and Jason Todd) that spawned the Red Death's Earth. I wish somebody would get more imaginative about how these Earth's were spawned! I wonder how Batjoker's Earth spawned? Did Batman consider fellating the Joker?

Just like on Earth -52, once Batman received the powers of another Justice League member (this time Cyborg who helped bring Alfred back as a robot butler/father/wife), he uses his new power to go around killing all of his enemies. It's a good thing Batman is only just as powerful as he is! Look at what happens as soon as he gets a hint of a super power! Super powers truly do super corrupt absolutely!

It might happen a little differently than that but my synopsis is close enough! Here, look at this scene and stop thinking about my skewing of plot points to fit my agenda:

Don't speed walk away from them! They only want to help!

Cyborg winds up dismembered the way all the robotic superheroes always wind up when they're defeated. It kind of makes you wonder why super villains aren't tearing off the limbs of organic heroes when you'd expect those limbs to tear off far more easily than robot limbs. I suppose it's because even Fangenders would find it less believable to keep having to put Batman back together than having to put Red Tornado back together. Although nobody seemed to complain about Alfred getting his hand back so easily. See, editorial? Fangenders will buy into anything! Now start ripping people's arms and legs off already!

Dark Nights: Batman the Murder Machine #1 Rating: Seventeen stars! But that's out of 136, so it's a relatively poor rating. Mostly I didn't find the art pleasing in any way. Also I couldn't enjoy the story because I kept thinking, "Frank Tieri wrote this so it must be bad," which led me to believe it was bad. Was it really bad? Probably! It was about Cyborg! I guess that doesn't technically make it bad but it does make it boring.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Dark Nights: Batman The Red Death #1

These metal covers don't scan well. Also, I'm now blind.

A bunch of evil Batmen have been set loose on the DC Universe and it's made my penis very hard. I know "very" isn't the most descriptive word I could have chosen but how descriptive do you want me to be about my penis, you pervert? I just mean it's harder than usual! Like it's straining for another quarter inch! Um, on top of the lots of inches that make up the size of a large penis! You know how many that is! So many!

I wonder why I've never been asked to write for a professional comic book blog? Probably because of nepotism. My penis agrees! Nepotism is an anagram for Tom Penis. That's going to be my next Roller Playing character's name!

This issue begins with Batman, The Red Death, explaining what the Dark Multiverse is. Apparently it's the same as the regular Multiverse except it's formed from timelines where you acted on all of your terrible thoughts. I guess that means all the Infinite Worlds in the DC Multiverse are good? Even the one where the Nazis rule? Or does Batman, The Red Death, mean even worse thoughts than Nazism? Like putting M&Ms into your butthole? Whoops! I just made a Dark Multiverse World by thinking that! Also I must be in the Dark Multiverse for reasons that I won't make clear or else you're going to think, "Gross!"

Batman, The Red Death, must have been a comedian before he became Batman, The Red Death, because he begins by telling a joke. His joke is the explanation of the Dark Multiverse that I just explained. He says that no one on "this side" (meaning the Upside-Down!) is laughing. It's funny (or not funny?) but I wasn't laughing either! Oh! That might be proof that I'm in the Dark Multiverse! Also I've just discovered that M&Ms don't just melt in your mouth!

This story takes place on Earth -52. Unless it's Earth-52? No, I think the Dark Multiverse uses negative numbers. Besides, there isn't an Earth-52 according to the Multiversity Guidebook. Either way, editorial should have realized that the naming convention of using a dash to indicate the number of the Earth would be confusing for negative worlds. Shouldn't it be Earth--52? No wait. That looks like something Howard Mackie would write!

According to what I just learned about the birth of Dark Multiverse Worlds, regular non-dark Batman has contemplated killing The Flash and stealing his powers.

As you can see, Batman has murdered all of Flash's enemies and stolen their weapons. Also he's decided to wear Captain Cold's glasses because they're cool. That pun was seriously unintended. Also, is "pun intended" a pun on "unintended"?

One of the reasons I stopped reading Joshua Williamson's Flash comic book was because he doesn't understand how to write a character with The Flash's ability. Case in point:

This is the kind of portrayal of superspeed that refuse to make excuses for, unlike most comic book fans who will bend over backwards to explain how this happened. I'm not saying I can't think up reasons for how Batman got the jump on The Flash here. I'm saying I refuse to because they're all stupid.

Batman straps The Flash to the hood of his Cosmic Battreadmill and they race off into the Speed Force so Batman can steal it. Apparently the chains holding The Flash to the hood of the Battreadmill are made from Unvibratanium so The Flash can't phase out of them. Dammit! There I go making stupid excuses for Josh's inability to write The Flash! I hate myself.

Batman and The Flash ride into the Speed Force and become one. Exactly like couples on their honeymoons do! I'm assuming. Also I don't know what couples do on their honeymoon. I'm assuming it's either sex or Settlers of Catan.

Now that the prelude is over and we've learned how Batman, The Red Death, came to be (basically he and Flash fucked while time traveling through the Speed Force thus merging themselves into one grotesque Batflash), the story shifts to Gotham City on Earth-Main-Earth (that's the Earth that is the main Earth and not Earth Negative Main Negative Earth!). Joshy Williamson makes sure to throw in a bunch of speech bubbles from the media declaring this the worst moment ever in Gotham City's entire history. That must mean things are really bad because they've been super bad before! Remember Knightfall? And No Man's Land? And every time The Joker reappears? And the Night of the Talons? And last Thursday?

Oh wait. I was wrong. The scene takes place in Earth-Negative-Fifty-Two's Gotham City. I was confused even though I shouldn't have been confused because when I saw the page declaring "Gotham City," my first thought was, "Shouldn't they have said 'Gotham City. Earth-Main-Earth'?" But they didn't because it's Earth-Negative-Fifty-Two. Which, using logic and rationality, I should have realized by my first thought! I wish I were better at logic and rational thinking. Instead I'm only good at hiding M&Ms and screaming at the futility of existence.

Batman, The Red Death, kills all of the Gotham villains but that doesn't help save the world. I think there's a message there about violence! Or maybe not since comic books always solve all of their problems with violence. Anyway, Earth-Negative-Fifty-Two is about to die when Batjoker arrives to offer Batman, The Red Death, a way out. He accepts and they're off on a multiversal road trip to clean up Scott Snyder's poor plot points in his New 52 Batman run.

Earth-Negative-Zero? That doesn't make any sense! EDITORIAL!

Batman, The Red Death, arrives in Central City of Earth-Main-Earth and turns Iris and New 52 Wally West into old people. Barry tries to save them but is kidnapped by Doctor Fate before the big Flash vs. Bad Flash fight takes place. I should thank Doctor Fate because I'm sick of The Flash constantly battling other speedsters. Remember that thing about Joshua not being able to write The Flash? It seems the only way he can think to challenge The Flash is by having him fight other speedsters (who are usually from the future). When two speedsters fight, it isn't as exciting as you'd think. It's basically just like when two drunks begin brawling at a bar. If both combatants are fast, where's the comic book excitement? It just comes down to which one knows the better martial arts.

Batman The Red Death #1 Rating: Five stars! Don't get too excited. That's out of fifty! The Red Death's moral to this story is that one bad day can break a person and thus a world. That's his coffee shop philosophy on the topic of life. We all go about having a great time but then one bad day kicks the shit out of us and we all give up, throw in the towel, and become total monsters. The only problem with having this character espouse this philosophy is that this character — even the Dark Multiverse version — is based on Batman. And Batman is the epitome of showing how one truly terribly horrible bad day doesn't break a person at all. I mean, okay, mentally maybe it does because Batman is clearly insane! But it didn't break him to the point of giving up on the world or becoming a monster. It turned him into a beacon of hope and change and justice! I suppose the point is that Batman hasn't truly experienced a really bad day yet. That day will come when all of his beloved sons, as well as Jason Todd, are killed and/or Batman chooses to shove a bag of M&Ms up his asshole.